UK cake maker Finsbury Food has issued a trading update ahead of its pre-results close period, and said the outlook for 2005 is positive.

The company, which makes speciality cakes, muffins and breads, said its Memory Lane cakes unit had successfully completed its 2004 Christmas programme.

"This year we focussed on producing a group of higher margin core products, more efficiently and more profitably. The conclusion was improved consistency in the operations, with the plan being delivered on time and to cost," the company said.

Its speciality breads business, Nicholas & Harris, is performing ahead of the company's expectations, with like-for-like sales to key customers well up on last year. 

The company said its Nestlé programme is progressing as expected and it plans to introduce a range of new products in 2005.

Looking ahead, Finsbury said the outlook for 2005 is positive despite the competitive market place.

"Operationally, we are more efficient and productive, while we continue to enjoy strong relationships with our blue chip retail customer base. We are discussing growth agendas with all our major customers and we believe that we have the expertise to grow the business successfully. We look forward to the coming year with confidence, and expect to exceed the current market forecasts for the full year," the company said.

Finsbury is due to announce on 22 March its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2004.